British Airways Website Not Displaying Most Partner Award Space

I find British Airways’ website to be one of the most useful for searching OneWorld award space. While I find the website interface to be horrible and not very intuitive, it is one of the most comprehensive, given that it displays award space for all OneWorld carriers.

I just wanted to make a quick post to say that the British Airways website seems to have a glitch right now whereby it’s not displaying most partner award space. I’ve received literally dozens of messages and emails the past couple of days from people asking “is it just me?” Nope, award space isn’t displaying for anyone, and it has been that way for about two days now.

Best I can tell, ba.com is presently not displaying award space for travel on:

  • Air Berlin
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • LAN
  • Malaysia
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Jordanian

It is, however, still displaying award space for travel on:

  • American
  • British Airways
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines

The error is coming in two forms. Either you can search for award space between a city pair and it will return blank results, or sometimes you’ll just get an error message when doing the search.

British-Airways-Error-Message-104

Alternatively you can use the American and Qantas websites to search award space. Of course that doesn’t help with the process of actually booking tickets using British Airways Avios, though.

American-Website-104
American award search tool

Qantas-Website-104
Qantas award search tool

British Airways closed their US call center late last year and I was optimistic that it would at least result in shorter hold times. Unfortunately the effect has been the opposite, and I’ve found the hold times to be beyond horrible with their new UK call center. Without status, I don’t think I’ve ever had a hold of less than an hour with Executive Club. Abso-freaking-lutely ridiculous.

In theory if you make a booking by phone because the website won’t display the space, they should waive the phone ticketing fee. You may have to request it and it may even require hanging up and calling again (which isn’t practical when hold times are over an hour), but it is possible.

Hopefully they fix this issue soon…

Comments

  1. I tried to call BA phone and was told the wait would be 15 minutes but gave up after an hour when my phone battery died. I’ve been trying for a week to get through.

  2. Aw, this isn’t good news. Hopefully, the website will be fully functional soon.

    I’m sorry to hear about the closing of the USA call center. I can understand why not everyone loved them — at times, I thought they were less than professional. That said, most of the time they would help me. I particularly remember “the old days” when you could call them and get a zillion stopovers on an award ticket. They almost always rolled with it! More recently, I’ve had pleasant enough interactions getting certain Alaska and LAN flights booked that I couldn’t do on the website.

    The long hold times will certainly be a big inconvenience for me.

    Honestly, if they’d put all their partner award flights on the website, I might never need to call them and that would be best for everyone concerned!

    BTW, BA’s major competitor, Virgin Atlantic, has a fantastic UK call center. I’ve never dealt with better, friendlier agents — and that includes the various elite lines of the USA carriers. Too bad it doesn’t sound like BA’s UK center has the same culture.

  3. I was able to see Cathay space a few minutes ago. Searched BOM to HKG and it showed pretty good availability.

  4. Was also able to see CX space HKG a few minutes ago. Did a lot of searching yesterday for CX out of HKG and didn’t have any glitches.

    What isn’t showing is VA space on Delta – zero seats being shown for the last week or so, despite available Saver seats showing up on VA’s site.

  5. I’d be very interested in a tutorial on your blog how to use the BA website to see availabilities. I agree that it is horrible and still haven’t figured it out. It’s also not consistent as I seem to have to take another approach every time I log in.

  6. Phew, I thought is was just me when I wasn’t seeing any CX on SFO-HKG route yesterday.(It’s there now)
    Regarding the BA call center hold times…if I book award online and then want to cancel w/i 24 hours, do I have to phone or can you cxl Avios award online?

  7. @Paul – I’ve been looking for VA space on Delta too and I think VA is not releasing anything new for the past weeks, especially towards the end of the schedule. Delta (and VA) both show space in early december and earlier so I think Delta is seeing the space properly and the issue is VA not releasing anything.

    VA website will show space 331 days out, but by the next day (330 out) that space is gone. I think the 331 space is a ghost and not bookable since I don’t think it is plausible that VA members are booking every single seat 331 days out. For example today you can see nothing LAX-SYD on 1/17/15 (330 days), but full premium inventory if you click over to 1/18/15 (331 days).

    Let’s hope this isn’t a trend…

  8. The hold times are the most frustrating thing to me about BA. I’ve got BA Gold, and regularly hold for 10 minutes when calling in. Otherwise love BA and the service I’ve received from them, and even like Avios (you just have to know how to use them effectively), but the hold times are annoying.

  9. Lucky, I’m looking to book LAX-HNL J or Y in December on Avios, and I see the seats available on AA.com but not on BA.com. Do you think AA is intentionally not releasing the seats to partners / is BA blocking those / do I have to call and pay the phone booking fee? Thanks!

  10. Strange thing happened to me earlier this week. I was seeing AA sAAver options on AA.com that didn’t show up on BA.com. It was not schedule-wide, was more that a few direct flights that I could see for my preferred days of travel on AA were not showing on BA, but other flight options were. I had never seen that happen before and was cursing BA. Then I went to a 30 minute meeting, came back and checked both sites again, and AA then no longer showed those specific options. So I started to wonder whether BA actually had it right and AA’s system was displaying cache’d inventory, and perhaps if I had clicked through on AA originally if it would have told me “sorry, no longer available”.

  11. @ BD — Are the seats you see available on aa.com on American, Alaska, or Hawaiian? Keep in mind they need to be on American in order for the space to show online.

    Also, do keep in mind that American codes their premium cabin to Hawaii as “Z” class, so that would be first class and not business class for the purposes of searching.

  12. It’s been more than a couple of days for at least some partners. Early this week the BA site was not showing any of the Aer Lingus flights even thought they are a BA partner (not OneWorld). It either showed only BA flights or said that no flights were available. Quantas was showing a number of the flights for which I was searching, but BA didn’t show anything.

  13. What about Aer Lingus, is that displaying? I couldn’t find any flights when searching last week but wasn’t sure if it was just unavailable.

  14. I tried to search flights from HongKong to Taipei earlier and it works. The website did show Cathy Pacific’s flights.

  15. Aer Lingus space displays on Qantas and United, correct?

    Also, is it true that BA.com is the only place to search LAN award space? I haven’t had luck seeing that using Qantas.

  16. I had the same problem of AA.com showing space on AA flights but BA.com not showing them. Was able to book them with the BA call center and they agreed to waive the phone booking fee since I told them it wasn’t available on BA.com.

  17. Here is an example of another problem with the BA website: BA shows availability on Air Berlin from JFK to TXL on 4/6/14 and availability from TXL to FCO on 4/7/14 but fails to show availability for travel JFK-FCO consisting of the 2 award legs. The problem is booking the 2 awards rather than the one with a connection costs more miles. American Airlines clearly shows award availability for travel JFK-FCO while each leg must be searched on British Airways website making award flight searches much more work It was never this bad as I have been booking award flights for years with ease, unfortunately no more. We are now required to search the availability on aa.com or qantas.com and probably get stuck with the additional telephone fee from requesting the available award travel to your destination when requiring a connection..

  18. Looks like all Japan airlines flights are not currently bookable on British Airways web site. I tried many different flights on different dates and route and all I get is an error message. Basically the flights show up as available but not bookable when you get to the payment page

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